Spoiler alert: staining your teeth isn’t the only impact wine can have on your dental health. There’s one thing you should never do right after finishing your glass if you care about keeping your mouth in good shape: brush your teeth. The reason is that brushing your teeth after sipping wine can seriously damage tooth enamel. Both red and white have high levels of acidity (although white has way more), and it’s important to wait about an hour before taking a brush to your teeth. “Leaving time before brushing teeth gives the enamel a chance to recover from the acid attack and makes it less susceptible to being brushed away,” BBC News reported after speaking to a dental professor about the effects of wine’s acidity.
A study about the relationship between wine and enamel damage published in the Nutrition Research journal offers up additional scientific proof. The study’s abstract reads, “It was demonstrated that white wines have higher erosive potentials than red wines. Within the limits of this study, it can be predicted that a frequent consumption of white wines might lead to severe dental erosion.”
Maybe you’re quick to brush your teeth to get rid of the red-wine-induced purple stains on your teeth and lips, or maybe — like me — you wind down at night with a glass or two, so you end up brushing your teeth before bed soon after taking your last sip. But now that I know the effects, especially as I sip on Chardonnay and Rosé during Summer, I’ll be sure to wait at least an hour before reaching for my toothbrush.